IN THE DARK GREEN WOODS (Makem)
A quiet protest against the atrocities of war where mostly the innocent suffer.
MY FATHER LOVES NIKITA KHRUSCHEV (Gallagher)
Every time I hear this song all I can think of is a sort of happy-go-lucky Summers evening by the seaside with no one to bother me - not even Nikita.
THE CURLEWS SONG (Makem)
The lovely poem spoken as an introduction to the song is called RETROSPECT and was written by An Pilibin (Dr. J. H. Pollock). To me, the cry of the curlew is one of the most lonely sounds in the world.
DRINK UP THY ZIDER (Cutler)
As good a song for singing and jollification as you're likely to meet in a months travelling.
GRA GEAL MO CHROI (Trad. arr. Makem)
Joyce had a version of this song in his Old Irish Folk Music and Songs but this particular version came from my uncle the late Paddy Makem who was reputed to be a grand singer and flute player.
THE MAID OF BALLYDOO (Trad. arr. Makem)
I learned this song, among many others, from the singing of David Hammond of Belfast. The song embodies all the colour, smell and flavour of its native Mourne Mountains. Ballydoo, by the way, is a townland between Mayobridge and Hilltown in County Down.
WHISKEY IN ME TAY (Hammond)
A song containing some grave warnings about the curse of drink and the dangers of falling in with over-generous friends. But, as the fellow said, it could happen to a bishop.
THE RED VELVET STEERING WHEEL COVER DRIVER (Taylor)
The life style of a large chunk of the populace in this, the second half of the twentieth century, has been well and truly captured in this song. Enough said!
KEADY MORNING (Makem)
Often amidst the noisy hustle-bustle and tense atmosphere of a big city I soothe my mind with memories of a sunlit, dewy, Spring morning in the country.
THE FALCON (Farina)
From the pen of an old friend, the late Richard Farina, this song points up very dramatically, the thoughtlessness of man and his inhumanity to everything that surrounds him.
JOCK O’HAZELDEAN (Trad. Arr. Makem)
Scotland has given us some of the worlds most beautiful love songs. This happens to be one of my favourites.
An ingenious tribute to the rollicking boys and lovely girls, not only of Tanderagee, but the length and breadth of Ireland. I learned this from Sean O’Boyle.
In the laughter of the crowd he seeks silence.
In the quiet of the hills he offers songs.
To children he brings stories filled with meaning and delight.
His voice is soft, his eyes so proudly strong.
He comes in from the highway with the freshness of spring rain.
Of his age you cant be certain, you might think you’ve known him before.
Should you ask his name, hell slowly mumble with a funny kind of smile.
And he sings the songs of highways or of soldiers back from war
He knows and understands the strange symphony of man
And he lives his life of song.